Boss says side still suffer from crushing defeat
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his Liverpool side ‘still suffer’ from losing the Europa League final last season- but says they are ready to move on and come back stronger.
Liverpool put in some remarkable performances to reach the Basel final, most notably a quarterfinal second leg comeback against Klopp’s former club Borussia Dortmund and a 3-0 second leg semifinal win versus Villarreal at Anfield.
However, the team came up short against three-time winners Sevilla, and the German boss writes some of that off to fatigue from the effort they put in to make it to the championship match in the first place.
Klopp told English newspapers: “Of course, I’ve had a lot of thoughts about this. It was long ago but it still feels bad. You have the moments when you still suffer a little bit.
“It was a hard night and a hard few days afterwards but it is in the past and like all games in the past if you can use them you should do.”
Although Klopp said he and the team needed to learn from the defeat, it wasn’t something he wanted to dwell on, saying: “You can’t bring all of this up in the first meeting and say [to the players] ‘look, I hope you had a wonderful holiday, but I want to tell you the second half in Basel was not so good.'”
Leading 1-0 after the half-time break through a Daniel Sturridge strike, Liverpool conceded within the first minute to Unai Emery’s team, as Kevin Gameiro scored past Simon Mignolet. Coke added two more goals in the 64th and 70th minutes to seal the Reds’ fate and spoil their dreams of a return to the Champions League.
“Then what happened happened. When you watch it again you see that something broke at that moment,” Klopp said of the second-half letdown. “Different players had no weapons any more; they had no power and no confidence. You saw that. We went too deep in a lot of positions and we were not close enough to the challenges.
“All of it was not too good but it was, of course, about the intensity that we had had on the way to the final, we’d had to overperform one or two times, we had to play very special games and we’d had a lot of games.
“We’d tried everything to have fresh legs for the final, but none of this is an excuse because this was not a final that we should have lost but we lost and that’s the truth.
“We had no luck in the game, Sevilla had a few moments in the first half when they needed a bit of luck and they had it, but it’s over and it doesn’t feel as bad now as it did at the time.”
By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10